12/13th June 1944 434 Squadron Halifax III LW173 W/Cdr. Bartlett DFC and bar
Operation: Arras - Communications
Date: 12/13th June 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 434 Squadron (motto: In Excelsis Vincimus - 'We conquer in the heights')
Type: Halifax III
Base: RAF Croft, County Durham
Location: Givenchy-en-Gohelle (Pas-de-Calais) France
Pilot: W/Cdr. Christopher Smales Bartlett DFC and bar 39928 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Fl/Eng: P/O. Charles Harrison Kyle C/85505 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Nav: F/O. Roger Gordon Kelso J/14241 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. James Richard Alexander J/17186 RCAF Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Lt.(A) Dorcas Herbert Crawford J/12105 RCAF PoW No: 6075 Camp: Stalag Luft 3 Sagan and Belaria
Air/Gnr: P/O. Richard Edward John Campbell J/85772 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Robert Bradford Learn J/26620 RCAF Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Croft at 22:44 hrs.
Possible claim by Lt. Heinz Altner 8/NJG5 - Lens area either at 01:39 or 01:41 hrs.
Above L-R: W/Cdr. Bartlett, F/O. Kelso, P/O. Campbell and F/O. Learn (courtesy John Jones)
The squadron lost two other aircraft during this operation, the others:
Halifax III MZ293 WL-S Flown by 27 year old, P/O. Frederick Arthur Ernest Tandy J/19727 RCAF, the six other crew members all lost their lives.
Halifax III LW713 WL-P Flown by 21year old, P/O. William Edward Wood J/86392 RCAF, the only fatality, 2 taken PoW, the other 4 evaded capture.
Above L-R: P/O. Tandy and P/O. Wood (courtesy Operation Picture Me)
'Flight Lieutenant Christopher Smales Bartlett of 216 Squadron. One night in May, 1941, this officer carried out a flight which necessitated transporting a party of Royal Engineers and landing them beside a highly strategical railway bridge which it was intended to destroy. Much of the complete success of this daring and difficult operation can be attributed to the skill displayed by this officer. Flight Lieutenant Bartlett has also executed eleven successful night raids'.
Bar to DFC:
'Acting Wing Commander Christopher Smales Bartlett, DFC of 434 (RCAF) Sqn. In the course of his second tour of operations this officer has attacked many strongly defended targets, including several attacks on Berlin and numerous others on industrial centres in the Ruhr. He is a forceful and courageous leader whose example has inspired all'.
W/Cdr. Christopher Smales Bartlett DFC and bar. Calais Canadian War Cemetery. Plot 4, Row G, Grave 9. Son of Christopher Pennycuick Bartlett and Dora Margaret Bartlett (née Smales), of Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada. Bartlett Lake in Saskatchewan named after him. Grave inscription: 'To All The World He Was But One, To Us He Was All The World'.
P/O. Charles Harrison Kyle. Calais Canadian War Cemetery. Plot 4, Row G, Grave 12. Born on the 24th January 1921 at Saskatchewan, Canada. Son of Howard David and Annie Eloise Kyle (née Harrison) of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Brother of Pte. William Leonard Kyle of the Royal Regiment of Canada R.C.I.C. killed on the 19th February 1945 age 27.
F/O. Roger Gordon Kelso. Calais Canadian War Cemetery. Plot 4, Row E, Grave 12. Born on the 31st March 1922 at Mitchellton. Son of Llewellyn Gordon Kelso and Annie Marjory Kelso (née Harrison), of Toronto, Ontario. Grave inscription: 'At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Them'.
F/O. James Richard Alexander. Calais Canadian War Cemetery. Plot 4, Row G, Grave 10. Born on the 25th December 1916 at Cabri, Saskatchewan. Son of James Kirkpatrick and Edith Mae Alexander (née Kirkpatrick) of British Columbia, Canada.
P/O. Richard Edward John Campbell. Givenchy-en-Gohelle Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Born on the 04th June 1924 at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Son of Oswald Michael Joseph Campbell and Anne Bridget Campbell. Grave inscription: 'Eternal Rest And Peace Grant Him, O Lord; May Perpetual Light Shine On Him'.
F/O. Robert Bradford Learn. Givenchy-en-Gohelle Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Born on the 02nd April 1919 at Banff, Alberta. Son of Dr. Cecil Royden Learn, M.D., and Elenore Mae Learn, of New Westminster, British Columbia. Grave inscription: 'Son'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to John Jones for research and photographs, Operation Picture Me, other sources as quoted below: